Music

Suitcase-friendly travel guitar built to sound like acoustics twice its size

Suitcase-friendly travel guita...
Big sounds from a travel guitar small enough to fit in a suitcase
Big sounds from a travel guitar small enough to fit in a suitcase
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Big sounds from a travel guitar small enough to fit in a suitcase
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Big sounds from a travel guitar small enough to fit in a suitcase
The body is made using 65% recycled materials, and the travel guitar features a hollow neck for big guitar resonance
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The body is made using 65% recycled materials, and the travel guitar features a hollow neck for big guitar resonance

Whether you're a seasoned picker or just need regular practice, taking your full-size acoustic guitar with you on your travels is not always easy. That's where the Minicorda electroacoustic travel guitar comes in, which is small enough to throw in a backpack yet promises a full-bodied sound.

Acoustic guitars are arguably already pretty portable, but even the parlor variety can be a bit of a bulky travel companion when hauling it on public transport or going on holiday. Solutions that combine playability and portability are many and varied, but some of the more interesting examples we've seen come from Fender, Vox, Fretlight/Traveler Guitar, Ministar and Zivix.

The Minicorda very much has the look of the Zivix Jamstiks, but rocks a patented hollow neck "that makes a 19-inch guitar resonate like a larger one."

According to Music Radar, the instrument was designed by Augusto Filocamo and Diego Spina as a one-piece guitar that could be played straight out of the carry bag, but be small enough to fit in a backpack or suitcase while on the move. Collaborating over video chats and swapping 3D-printed prototypes through the mail, the pair eventually came up with a pint-sized final product that's built with ABS polymers on an aluminum frame, and is made to sound like a regular-sized nylon-stringed guitar – with a little help.

If played on its own, not much sound is produced, making it a good fit for quiet practice in a bustling household. But the 12-fret travel guitar includes a Fishman Sonitone mic and pre-amp and a mono output jack so you can plug into a portable amp or into a laptop or tablet via a third party interface. Volume and tone controls are onboard too.

It can be played on the lap, though when I tried the similarly-shaped Jamstik I found this to be quite an uncomfortable experience, or supported by a guitar strap (there isn't one included in the package). And if you're a southpaw picker, you can just change the order of the strings to suit – playing will be the same either way up.

There is no need to buy special strings or worry about an odd out-of-tune playing experience, since the mini guitar is tuned to EADGBE using regular nylon strings (though the bottom E string is actually a little thicker than a standard set and will need to be added in for restrings). The tuning heads are adjusted with a hex key.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say, so check out the short video demo below. The Minicorda is on sale now for US$270, with assembly and shipping taking around three weeks.

Minicorda Guitar. Suitcase-sized professional nylon guitar

Source: Minicorda via Music Radar

3 comments
3 comments
Lamar Havard
Very nice! I had a Martin Backpacker that served me well for a decade or more, and sold for what I bought it for!
Brian M
Wonder why they went for nylon strings? Would have thought a bigger market would have been metal strings - or is that an option?
My Yamaha Silent guitar breaks down to a small carry size, but not as small as this, but has the advantage it does feel and look more like a 'real' guitar than perhaps this.
Ed Clark
I'm guessing nylon strings because they are quieter. But I agree with Brian, would love to have heard this thing (or a different variant) with steel strings.